Okay, let’s say you’ve got family and there is the expectation that you will attend the family holiday event, but you know that there are some people in your family that run you the wrong way, and you’re pretty sure there’s a good possibility that one’s a genuine psychopath.
I mean, you’ve googled it, and you know what you’re talking about, but you still have to go to this holiday affair and you know these toxic individuals are going to be there.
What can you do?
Whether your toxic family member is a psychopath, sociopath, narcissist, or somewhere along the antisocial personality disorder spectrum, ask yourself, what do you think their number one goal is?
Regardless of what you think it might be, from now on, take on the assumptive idea that the only thing this person wants to do at this event, is to get to you. To get you riled up, to have an emotional response, and Dear God, if he or she can have you express yourself inappropriately, THAT is the Holy Grail!
Rendered down to its simplest form, this toxic person wants to knock you off balance.
What do you think would be the one thing you could do that would make him or her disappointed or angry?
To be unshakeable. Bulletproof. Strong as a solid rock.
If you’re up for it, you can do just that. Be that unshakeable, bulletproof person who’s solid as a rock, and leave him or her to run off and lick his or her own wounds. Because, if you can pull this off, you win! Ha!
Now, you know this person is a whacko, and you also know that any calling out of such a thing will end up with him or her making you look like a whacko. So, no confrontations, accusations, or defense. None. Just you, doing your part to participate in this event without letting any toxic individual get to you.
It will help to understand that these individuals are only playing a game of “let’s screw with that person” without consequence. While a normal person might feel guilty for gaslighting someone for no reason, toxic people do it for fun and pleasure, and the more emotionally you respond, the better he or she feels about victimizing you.
Once you realize this, you can turn the tables in your favor by not providing him or her with the supply he/she expects to get from you. Now, you are in the driver’s seat.
It can be helpful for you to surround yourself with an invisible bubble of energy which will act as an emotional shield that will prevent any negative energy from this individual to get in.
When something comes up that may have caught you off-guard in the past, just ignore it. Shrug your shoulders and walk away. Start a conversation with someone else. Whatever you do, do not let them see you sweat. Any sign of weakness and they will turn up the heat to make you look crazy.
Be polite and cordial, but do not get involved in lengthy conversations. Keep it brief and keep moving on to the next conversation with someone else.
Imagine having brought some yellow crime scene tape that you can use to cordon off areas of your life that you don’t want to have to deal with. This is your life. You get to set your boundaries. You got this.
They don’t get you this year. Not this one.
You got this.